Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scary Stories--Halloween 2013

Perhaps it's the gloomy rainy weather.  Or it might be the combination of heavy mist and smoke from burning leaves hanging in the air.  My furry friend is restless which does not bode well for the night ahead; her senses more keenly aware than mine.  It's October 31, 2013.

Today, since the atmosphere is charged with uncertainty and general spookiness, I'm going to my personal bookshelves, stacked with more than sixty Halloween books, books filled with fun and frights to delight every age.  These ten story collections contain some of the best shiver-inducing stories I've had the pleasure of sharing over the years.  Get cozy, make sure all the doors and windows are locked and turn off the lights.

The Haunting of America: Ghost Stories from Our Past by Jean Anderson with illustrations by Eric von Schmidt (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973)
Twenty-four stories told again and again across our United States are gathered here by Jean Anderson for all to enjoy.  Of these, my favorite is The Harp Player of Pitcher's Point.  As the story goes, a place along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is haunted.  A ship's captain and his first mate, overcome by greed commit a horrible deed.  A lady with a harp does not forget; her music heard to this day.

A Taste For Quiet and Other Disquieting Tales by Judith Gorog, illustrations by Jeanne Titherington (Philomel Books, 1982) 
These twelve tales will unsettle you in most unexpected ways; not necessarily frightening but causing you to pause and reflect.  One of my favorites for any storytelling session, not only at Halloween, is Those Three Wishes.  Melinda Alice, known as Melinda Malice by her classmates, is clever and cruel. On a walk to school one morning, she nearly crushes a snail on the sidewalk deliberately.  What stops her is a promise of three wishes from this snail, a talking snail.  You really should be careful for what you wish.

No Swimming In Dark Pond and Other Chilling Tales by Judith Gorog (Philomel Books, 1987)
In this collection of thirteen, Judith Gorog heightens the fear factor.  The title story, No Swimming In Dark Pond, describes Matilda who would rather have the pond all to herself, scaring people when they are swimming.  Now all alone at the pond, she is satisfied her plan worked, until one day when she goes swimming.
 Gorog's version of Hookman is one of the scariest I have ever read. A drive down a deserted dirt road to get a forgotten suitcase ends any plans for a happy honeymoon.
Dr. Egger's Favorite Dog tells the tale of a doctor who does not have a great affection for dogs. She comes to realize they will protect those they love, even if they are no longer among the living.

When the Lights Go Out: 20 Scary Tales To Tell by Margaret Read MacDonald with illustrations by Roxane Murphy (The H. W. Wilson Company, 1988)
Margaret Read MacDonald, known for her collections of stories, divides this group into Not Too Scary, Scary In The Dark, Gross Stuff, Jump Tales, Tales To Act Out and Tales To Draw Or Stir Up.  A perennial favorite any time of the year is The Tale of a Black Cat.  This drawing story finds Tommy and his friend Sally facing something more than a new house.  For storytellers at any stage in their storytelling, this is a fantastic resource.

Things That Go Bump in the Night: a collection of original stories edited by Jane Yolen and Martin H. Greenberg (Harper & Row Publishers, 1989)
Eighteen stories by eighteen authors, many well-known in the field of children's literature are collected in this title.
Duffy's Jacket (Bruce Coville) tells the tale of a very forgetful boy, prone to leaving and losing his personal items.  One evening, after having left his jacket in the woods, he and his cousins are left alone in the cabin as their moms head into town.  A scratching sound can only mean one thing.  Someone, something, really was following them in the woods earlier.
Meech tries his best, but whatever he does old Mrs. Foss is never satisfied.  Leaves (Mary K. Whittington) tells of his raking her leaves for years.  You would think now that she's dead, he is done with this yearly job.  Mrs. Foss and her trees will have their way.
My favorite in this volume, by far, is The Babysitter (Jane Yolen).  It's the best babysitter story ever written in my opinion.  Hilary really does not like babysitting for the boys at the Mitchell's house.  Their stories of "Them" give her the shivers as does the ritual the boys insist on doing as they go down the hall to their bedroom.  The night before Halloween will be one Hilary remembers because of an intruder and "Them".  (Getting goosebumps just writing this.)

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McKissack with illustrations by Brian Pinkney (Scholastic, 1992)(Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Author Award)
Of these ten original stories, capturing the history of the African American storytelling tradition, my favorite is The Legend of Pin Oak.  A plantation owner harbors a hatred for one of the male slaves, now married with a son.  A sale takes an unexpected twist at the edge of cliffs overlooking the river falls.  Three birds, a hidden cave and an underground railroad conductor add to the mystery.

The Ghost & I: Scary Stories For Participatory Telling edited by Jennifer Justice (Owl Moon Press, 1992)
I have used this book so much it is literally falling apart.  It is divided into three sections for ages 5-8, ages 9-11 and ages 12 and up.
The Graveyard Voice (Betty Lehrman) in the first section is the kind of story engaging readers right until the final words.  Groans and giggles will quickly follow.  An ordinary man with an ordinary family lives next to a graveyard.  One Halloween everything changes to the extraordinary.  The Witch Who 'Cracked Up' (Flora Joy) is a delightful tangram story.  Students can follow along using their own tangrams.
In section two Uncle Bill's Dream (Robin Moore) goes from haunting to hilarious.  A dream, a witch, a donkey and it's droppings make for an interesting combination.  It's grossness is sure to bring on the laughs.
From section three, The Woman in Grey (Shelia Dailey) and The Vampire Skeleton (Joseph Bruchac) are excellent.  In the first we find ourselves in a shopkeeper's market. He is waiting on a sad-eyed customer all dressed in grey.  Each time she comes to the store she leaves with a bottle of milk. No words are spoken.  No money changes hands. What is her secret?
A Native American woman, her husband and child are walking through the woods to another village in the second tale.  As night falls the husband, despite his wife's words of warning, urges them to stay in a hut in the woods.  What lurks inside the hut?  Who will survive?

Scary Story Reader: Forty-One of the Scariest Stories for Sleepovers, Campfires, Car & Bus Trips--Even for First Dates collected by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young, introduction by Jan Harold Brunvand, illustrations by Wendell E. Hall (August House Publishers, Inc., 1993)
With chapter headings like The Classic Urban Legends, The Urban Runners-Up, A Terror Tour of Our Nation, Jump!, Laugh Yourself to Death, and Our Favorite Horror Tales, there is something for everyone in this collection.  The one most requested, the one promoting the most discussion after the telling, is The Call from the Grave.  An old farm in the country is home to a little girl, her parents and grandfather.  When he dies her sadness is only lessened with the comfort of being able to see his grave from her home in the nearby cemetery.  A late babysitter, a terrifying storm and an unexpected phone call, give the girl sure knowledge that love transcends even death. 

Queen of the Cold-Blooded Tales by Roberta Simpson Brown (August House Publishers, Inc., 1993)
All of the stories written by Roberta Simpson Brown are chilling and not for the faint of heart.  Many take place in familiar places.  One which I have used with older students, upper middle and high school, is The Whittler.  It begins with a group of boys camping.  Their leader Arnold Fremont has just finished telling a scary story.  They beg him for one more, The Whittler.  Sometimes what we fear the most should not be the ghost.  Sometimes what we should fear is among us.  (This story is a ten on the creepy scale.)

Great Ghost Stories selected and illustrated by Barry Moser (Books of Wonder, William Morrow and Company, 1998)
These thirteen stories fall under the classic category; stories like The Monkey's Paw (W. W. Jacobs), How It Happened (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) or Dead Aaron (retold by James Haskins).  By far the most haunting is Polly Vaughn retold by Barry Moser.  I would recommend this for older audiences.  Polly and Jimmy, sweethearts for most of their lives, are getting married soon.  Both their families live in cabins in the mountains, their fathers working in the coal mines.  Hunting is an important part of becoming a man in the mountains.  Jimmy, after his first kill at the age of ten, has no desire to do it ever again.  On his way to meet Polly one afternoon, his mother calls him back, urging him to carry his gun.  They need food.  A heartbreaking tragedy occurs, lives will be lost and a voice from the grave is not heeded.  (Even reading this story again today, I find it unforgettable.  Even beyond the enjoyment factor, there is much to discuss.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let The Gaming Begin!

Not being what one would call a gamer, knowing how easily it would be a rabbit hole from which I might never return (Remember, I lost a whole summer in the world of Myst), I have saved this next website from the American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2012.  Yes, I've waited an entire year.  The committee placed it under the heading of Media Sharing aligning it with the following Standards for the 21st-Century Learner:

  • 3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.
  • 3.3.4 Create products that apply to authentic, real-world context.
Gamestar Mechanic is a free website for basic use.  According to the Privacy Policy your real name, address or phone number is not required for registration.  You will be asked your age to determine which portions of the site are available for your use. (Certain sharing and networking features, no live chat, is for those over the age of 13.)  Users under the age of 13 are not asked to provide email addresses.  If users are registered through an educator in the classroom their real name may be required. Here is an image of what is offered as explanation for parents.

When initially accessing the site, in the upper right-hand corner, you can log in, head over to the FAQ section or submit a written request via email for assistance.  It is important to note that Adobe Flash Player version 10 or later is needed for using this website.  The Sharing Games section (as do all the sections)  provides very complete information as to what is available.  You can recommend your game to another mechanic with their user name, a link to your game can be sent to an email address you list, you are given an URL link, an HTML code for embedding and buttons are provided for various social network sharing.

Moving down the page a video to learn more about the site is supplied.  Links with more information for teachers, parents and taking an online course are available.  You can register or log in in this section too.

Skipping ahead further before we begin, an explanation of what users can expect at the site is displayed.  You can play and learn, take courses, make your own games and join the community.  In the parents section this is simplified into play, design and share.

To start using the site I clicked on Get Started.  Enter in your user name, a password, birth date, check the box Gamestar Mechanic Terms of Service and select Register.  (At most screens you can get to the Parent and Help pages.)  At the new screen you are asked to choose your favorite subject, animal, color and activity in case you need to be reminded of your password.  They shuffle the choices at the next window to confirm your selections.

There are several choices at the next window.  The column on the far left represents the free use of this site.  According to the instructions you need to complete a certain amount of play in order to publish and showcase your games.

After choosing Get Started, the next screen gives you several options as shown in image one. Since it stated you need to complete episodes to publish and share I decided to choose Quest.  The second image represents the first page in the Quest.

A adventure story begins where the character of Addison (you) is revealed. In the first episode you have to play and beat four games. Each game has a series of levels.

To begin mouse over and click on Naviron Adventure. (It took me two tries to win the first level. I am definitely not a gamer.) When each mission (game) is completed, the next is unlocked.  You are rewarded with a sprite when you win.

The second level on mission two, Altair Journey, seemed to take forever.  The right combination was hard. It was a challenge in that I needed to not only jump from the bottom but from spire to spire.  Definite thinking and strategy are involved along with hand-eye coordination. 

By the third and fourth missions I was getting the hang of it.  They even threw in a rogue element to the story.  Episode 1 was completed.  (Whew!)

Four more episodes need to be finished.  Between each episode (game with levels) the story began in the introduction continues.  It's like you are in an animated comic.  The image below is after the story has continued.  It's a map of the factory showing I have completed episode one but the challenge of episode two is waiting for me. 

The second and third images show the new missions.  This time instead of player you are put in the position of being a designer.  Addison and company are in a bit of trouble.

In order to continue my exploration of the site I paused here to design a game.  To design a game select Workshop at the top of your screen.  (See image above.) The next window advises you of the rules of the site as well as your standing.  I clicked on Build A New Game!

You are now at the game creation window.  The four small icons on the right represent, top to bottom, move, edit, clone and erase.  They refer to items on the grid.

On the left the top setting is for your game name, game introduction message, game win message and goals and rules.  The other setting is for the level in which you are working.  At the bottom you can see there is a green light for save but not for publish.  It's red.  

To place avatars, enemies and blocks on the grid click on them and move them to a square on the grid.  If you want to use any of the tools on the right click on one, move it to the grid over the item and click.  To release it, move it back to the side and click.

Once you have the blocks, goal, avatar and enemies in place, click on play (top left) to see how the game you have designed works.  You can toggle back and forth between play and edit until you are satisfied.  When you successfully win the game you have created the publish button turns green.  You still can not publish it though, according to pop-up instructions, until your first quest is finished.  The image below is what my created game looks like.  

The next area I will cover in this post is the section for teachers.  At that page you can learn the basics of Gamestar Mechanic, access and view loads of lessons and videos from Gamestar Mechanic and other sources, connect with other educators on Edmodo, and follow a link to their blog. 

As an educator you can sign up your entire class for free or a premium package is available.  The cost is $2.00 per student.  This image shows a portion of the information you need to provide to sign up your class for either account.

After having spent hours at this site, I can readily understand why it was placed on the Best Websites for Teaching & Learning by the AASL committee.  Students are actively engaged in learning and creating.  I highly recommend this site.  Now back to episode two.  I need to get Addison out of the elevator.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Single Letter

It might be safe to assume in most school classrooms, when a teacher announces it's time to practice spelling, the reactions will be varied; ranging from excitement by a few, a collective sigh by many or outright groans by others.  When this same announcement is made by a professor at Hogwarts, wands will appear along with grins and heightened anticipation.  Definitions shift and change based on word use and context.

Playing with words, bending them to convey meaning, peaks interest in our reading and writing. It's a sign of taking joy in spoken or written language.  Author George Shannon loads up the pages of his newest book, A Very Witchy Spelling Bee (Harcourt Children's Books), illustrated by Mark Fearing, with frenzied fun.

Cordelia loved broccoli, spelling, and snakes.  

That's not all this little witch liked.  She spelled whenever she was talking.  If she asked permission to go outside to play she would say, "Mama, may I go outside to play, P-L-A-Y?"

Usually she did not have to ask.  Her mother would shoo her out of the house because she practiced spelling and her spells nearly nonstop.  Even then Cordelia continued, loving to zap letters changing one thing into another.

An O transformed her cat into a coat and back again.  Before the feline had time to feel normal, a K turned the creature into a tack.  Chances were, if you were around Cordelia, an assortment of surprises in all shapes and sizes could be expected.

Like a beacon, a sign posted in the park reading The Witches Double Spelling Bee, Held Every Ten Years to Celebrate Good Spelling and Spells, Saturday Next at the Big Old Barn, caught her attention.  Advising caution because of her age, her mother wanted her to wait to enter but Cordelia was confident, C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T.  She knew with every fiber in her being she could win.

Thirteen time winner, Beulah Divine, two hundred and three years old, heard the news, gleefully grinning at the chance to beat a youngster.  As the fates would have it, the contest was held on a dark, stormy night.  Witches gathered.  The rules were read.  The contest began.

A letter was to be chosen from a bowl.  Using the letter an object on stage needed to be changed into something else.  First Opal drew an M, changing some ice into mice.  Witch after witch drew, cast and transformed.  Cordelia wowed the crowd with her first feat.

Beulah shocked the crowd with her malicious enchantment, scaring all the remaining contestants, leaving only Cordelia.  With each casting the tension grew; the anger of the crowd at Beulah's tactics spiraling.  A scream from the crowd and a single letter changed the fates of both contestants.

George Shannon makes his own kind of magic in this clever tale of spelling and spells.  Using language he has crafted a believable story about the power of words, with or without witchery.  In Cordelia he has fashioned a character feisty in her determination to win, courageous in pursuing a goal. By having Cordelia repeat three key sentences each time she is faced with a decision, our admiration and empathy grows.  This technique generates a flow, a rhythm, between the story elements.  Here is a sample passage.

Beulah sneered at the crowd. "I'm a what?"
The barn fell so quiet, nothing was heard but the heartbeats of bats.
"Never mind," snorted Beulah, turning back to the bowl.
"Let's get this thing over.  I'm ready to win. And I don't want to wait."

Green-skinned dueling witches riding around the prize on the front jacket and cover, the flyer advertising the contest nailed up on the back, set the stage for events to come.  Jacket flaps, title page, verso and dedication page each feature a tiny significant picture, Cordelia zapping her cat, witches entering the barn, an owl perched near a pumpkin, pencils, a sharpener and a notebook and a witch's hat.  Rendered in pencil, then altered digitally, Mark Fearing waves his artistic wand to conjure illustrations focusing on and extending the text.

A striking use of green, blue, orange, red and purple shades appropriately depict the characters and setting.  Pattern and prints, a mix and match of many, color the witches' attire adding to their uniqueness.  Exaggerated facial features and expressions depict moods, marvelous magic and moments to be remembered.  By changing the size of and the perspective shown in the pictures, they mesh well with the narrative.

One of my favorite illustrations is a double page spread, showcasing Beulah zapping Cordelia (yes, she was that vile), red streaks extending from her fingers as the young witch is lifted into the air.  Beulah, large, toad-like in stature, arms extended, is leering squinty-eyed at Cordelia.  Cordelia's wide eyed look of surprise is in sharp contrast to the other. (Expect gasps and giggles.)

For a language arts lesson, a Halloween read or both, A Very Witchy Spelling Bee written by Geoge Shannon with illustrations by Mark Fearing, is the perfect pick.  Readers and listeners will love the battle of wits, the goodness of one winning over the badness of the other.  Your spelling lessons will never be the same.

Please follow the links embedded in the author's and illustrator's names to access their websites.  Mark Fearing has plenty of artwork on his blog.  This link to the publisher's website has a few more illustrations for you to view.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beware The Hallows Eve Storm

Fierce bitter winds, unexpected thunder and lightning and snow hail pelting the windows has been the norm the past two weeks.  The closer it gets to Halloween on nights such as these, it's hard not to see or hear more than weather and shadows when you are outside after dark; your senses on high alert.  It's the time of year when everything is restless and waiting.

Most locales have their fair share of haunted houses, ghost stories and unsolved mysteries.  Whether reading, telling or listening to any one of them during an autumn tempest on or near the thirty-first of October, you'll be hard pressed not to lock all your doors and windows.  Author and longtime resident of New Jersey Trinka Hakes Noble has written such a tale, The Legend of the Jersey Devil (Sleeping Bear Press) with equally frightening illustrations by Gerald Kelley.

Long ago, in 1735, when the British Crown ruled New Jersey, a strange and terrifying event took place on a remote stretch of land called Leeds Point.

Late at night during a nor'easter of epic proportions, a woman with twelve children called Mother Leeds is giving birth to her thirteenth child.  Nearing delivery two midwives in attendance, Hattie Higbee and Essie Turnbuckle, hear her cry out "Oh, let it be a devil!"  With the storm reaching its peak, the child is born.  But readers, this child is like no other.

This monster, this creature, flies around the room and up the chimney.  Crazy with fear the women leave Mother Leeds, awakening the people in their small village.  Nearly incoherent, physical features such as bony horse head, long scaly body, large bat wings, forked tail, claws for hands, hooves for feet, horns sprouting from its head and eyes flashing red then yellow are described by the two.

Close to the village, the new resident hears all, delighted with his first impression, knowing this place will be his home for a very long time. As months pass all sorts of unexplained events begin to take place, hens not laying eggs, milk going sour, and wells drying up.  Folks, of course, blame this devilish intruder.

No one can catch him.  Children no longer play outside.  News of this fiend travels to outlying areas.  A preacher arrives hoping to banish this misery from among the people but he nearly meets with a fiery end.

His overheard story of the Jersey Devil brings even more trouble to the village.  They need to rid themselves of this horde of people bent on claiming money offered by two visiting schemers.  Unknown to the people a bargain is made and a legend, continuing to this day, is born.

Before telling us the origin of the Jersey Devil, Trinka Hakes Noble's introduction, replete with eerie words, will have goosebumps appearing at will.  Her descriptions of food being served, the use of lanterns and candles for light, fireplaces for heat and horses the primary means of transportation, take us back into history.  Dialogue between the characters as well as the narrative are in keeping with the unearthly thrills of the ensuing story. Here are a couple of examples.

And, lurking in its black swamps and murky bogs are hidden secrets and evil stories that can only be told on the darkest of nights...
...for 'tis believed the place is haunted.

Outside, she met Hattie Higbee.  The two clutched each other, bending into the raw wind.
" 'Tis rumored she dabbles in witchcraft," whispered Essie with fright, "but we must help."
"Oh, aye," trembled Hattie, "but I shudder to think, this being so close to Halloween."

Picturing the Jersey Devil himself on the front jacket and cover and a woman gasping in horror on the back, Gerald Kelley attracts readers straightaway to this spine-chilling tale.  Featuring the Pine Barrens on the title page draws us further into the place.  Dark stormy skies forked with lightning provide the backdrop for the introduction, text placed on parchment with aged edges.

For most of the book, double-page paintings in darker hues, dusty golden overtones to bring readers into the past, create a feeling of tension and apprehension.  Having much of the text placed on parchment, smaller illustrations framed in worn, shadowy sides, enhances the days-of-old essence of this story.  Fully animated features on the characters leave no doubt as to the fear they are experiencing in light of the Jersey Devil living among them.  One of my favorite illustrations is near the beginning right after the birth.  Two pages are filled with darkness, lightning is flashing, windows in the village glow with candlelight, as the Jersey Devil, his head filling an entire page, overlooks the scene.

Look no further for a haunting Halloween tale or the perfect fit for a scary story request than The Legend of the Jersey Devil by Trinka Hakes Noble with illustrations by Gerald Kelley.  Superb storytelling and visuals make this a shivery treat.  After reading this you'll think twice about being in Pine Barrens after dark or anywhere legends freely roam.

To discover more about the author and illustrator, follow the links embedded in their names to their respective websites and blogs.  At the publisher website, linked here, you can view and read excerpts from the title. Update:  Here is a link provided by Gerald Kelley to a documentary video about the Jersey Devil.

Update:  Here are some tweets which appeared in my feed October 20, 2014 from Gerald Kelley showing the process for developing the illustrations and several which appear in the finished book.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Twitterville Talk #123

Online chats, tweets about festivals, conferences and classroom activities keep Twitter streaming with nonstop professional development.  Book recommendations, commentary and publisher previews keep our TBR piles ever growing.  Authors and illustrators support and encourage one another each and every day.  It's an amazing community.  Enjoy what I was able to gather.  Have a restful weekend.  Take time for reading.  Look for the giveaways.

Lots of educators have been talking about and flipping their classrooms.  This is a very comprehensive post, The flipping librarian.

Thanks to Joyce Valenza, teacher librarian and blogger at NeverEnding Search for this post and tweet.

Last year I was fortunate to win a contest at author Lynda Mullaly Hunt's blog.  With a grant we purchased a copy of her book, One for the Murphys, for every single student in our fifth grade.  After the class read was completed we spent a wonderful afternoon Skyping with Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  This week on her blog Lynda Mullaly Hunt posted this, An Iron Whisper.  Please read it.

Thanks for this post and tweet go out to Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Here are a couple of timely articles posted on SmartBrief this past week, The power of lurking and Integration of information literacy into the curriculum: Changing students' relationships with the school librarian.

Thanks to educator and author of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child and Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits, Donalyn Miller for these tweets.

The National Council of Teachers of English hosted a chat to celebrate the National Day of Writing.  Here is the link to the archive of that chat.

Thanks to the NCTE for this tweet.

Heads up!  This article is important, Do Your Students Know How To Search?

Thanks for this tweet goes to teacher librarian and blogger at Hale Kula Library, Michelle Colte.

Here come the book trailers!  This is where we get the latest on book releases.  This is where we get to listen to authors and illustrators talk about their work.

If you missed the #SharpSchu Book Club this week, follow this link to the archive and additional resources.

Great ideas for Halloween costumes---Be The Book this Halloween!

November is Picture Book Month.  Get all the information at links here, here, here, here, here and here, to help you celebrate.

Author Tad Hills offers tips on making your own Halloween costumes.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre Announces the Winners of the 2013 Canadian Children's Literature Awards.
To the first person who can tell me the Michigan city where this year's winner grew up, I will send a copy of Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett with illustrations by Matthew Myers.  Please leave your answer in the comments below or send me a DM on Twitter. (This title has been won.)

Thanks for this week's tweets go to John Schumacher, teacher librarian, 2011 Library Journal Movers & Shakers, 2014 Newbery Medal Committee member, co-host of the monthly #SharpSchu book club and blogger at Watch. Connect. Read.

This week, Meet the artist: Kazu Kibuishi, is showcased as part of The Art of Read Every Day campaign at Scholastic.  There are plenty of resources linked here to be used in an author illustrator study.

Thanks to Scholastic Teachers for this tweet.

The readers have spoken; 2013 Teens' Top Ten have been chosen.

Thanks to the Youth Adult Library Services Association for this tweet.

I have devices to be able to read electronically but I will probably always favor print.  This article made me smile, Why I've Gone Back to Print.

Thanks to HuffPost Books for this tweet.

As part of a special series, Keys to the Whole World: American Public Libraries, listen to/read this article, Turning A Page In A Rural One-Room Library

Thanks to author Lisa Yee for this tweet.

This week Greg Pizzoli, author of The Watermelon Seed, is interviewed at Let's Get Busy.  

Thanks to Matthew C. Winner, elementary library media specialist, co-founder of #levelupbc, 2013 Library Journal Movers & Shakers Tech Leader and blogger at The Busy Librarian for this tweet and weekly podcast.

The speech that is still winging its way over social media can now not only be read in its entirety but we can listen to the Neil Gaiman lecture in full: Reading and obligation.

Thanks to The Reading Agency for this tweet.

What will they think of next?  Paper Generators: Harvesting Energy from Touching, Rubbing & Sliding

Thanks to author Adam Rubin (Secret Pizza Party) for this tweet.

His book is listed as one of the National Book Award finalists, 'Boxers & Saints' & Compassion: Questions for Gene Luen Yang

Thanks to NPR Books for this tweet.

Cool Bookish Places: Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, looks like a magical place.

Dear Mr. Watterson, Let's Go Exploring! is the title of an article about the documentary.  It's a must see for fans of Calvin & Hobbes.

Book-O-Lanterns! is a Halloween salute to literature. 

Thanks to Book Riot for these tweets.

Thankfully there is no end to this kind of goodness---Little, Brown Spring Kids|Preview Peek.

This is amazing---Kid Lit Authors Ask White House to Ease Standardized Testing Mandates.

Thank to School Library Journal for these tweets.

There were blank pages in The New York Times this week.  Follow this link to see and hear why this was not a mistake.
To the first person who can tell me why the pages were blank, I will send a copy of No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah OHora.  Please send me a DM on Twitter or leave your answer in the comments below.

Thanks to Random House Kids for this tweet.

This looks like a delightful book, Dream Animals.

Thanks to Colby Sharp, educator, co-host of the monthly #SharpSchu Book Club, co-host of the monthly #titletalk, co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club and blogger at sharpread, for this tweet.

The titles have been chosen for World Book Night US: April 23, 2014.  I am thrilled with some of the titles.

Thanks to The Horn Book for this tweet.

For fans of the Marty McGuire books and participants in the Global Read Aloud, Marty McGuire Global Read Aloud Video Q & A--Week 3 is up on her blog.

Thanks to author Kate Messner for this great opportunity and for this post.

This is informational, unusual and a little bit scary---ARKive's Trick or Treat Quiz

Thanks to ARKive for this tweet.

If you've ever wanted to try this terrific web 2.0 tool, ThingLink, check out all the resources listed here, ThingLink for Education

Thanks for this tweet goes to Donna Baumbach, former edtech/edmedia professor at UCF in Orlando.

This is huge news---Guardian children's fiction prize goes to Rebecca Stead

Thanks to Children's Bookshelf of Publishers Weekly for this tweet.